Food - Drink
The Intriguing History Of Water Pie
Water isn't an ingredient normally associated with pie fillings but that's not the case with water pie, also known as hard times pie, a recipe born out of the Great Depression. Dessert is often considered a luxury, so it's no wonder that people during the Depression cobbled together something sweet using the scant ingredients they had on hand.
Water pie consists of filling made with water but the key to it not being a soggy mess was starch. Atlas Obscura explained that the pie thickened with starch and with heat, “ the sugar melts, the butter emulsifies, and the flour leaches just enough starch to bind the whole mixture."
Recently, Depression-era recipes like water pie have enjoyed something of a comeback, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and social media. So, the next time you're scrounging through your cupboards and want to bake something sweet, remember water pie — and the resourcefulness of home cooks during the Great Depression.